Adjusting to Practice

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

It’s so easy to blame the dog for snoring, the car for cutting you off, the coffee for spilling, the job for not paying you enough. But what’s at the root of it all? The common denominator of everything that happens in your life is you. So, ask yourself, “Who am I being today?”

Am I being a crabby person who is irritated with everything? Am I being a blah person who doesn’t care about anything? Am I being a compassionate person for everyone else but myself? Am I being a fun person who is easy to get along with? The important piece of these question is not the answer, but the question, itself: the awareness the question brings.

Once the awareness is there, something else happens. We’re moved immediately to judgment. Judgment says, “You are _____, and that is bad.” Or, “You are _____, and that is good.” I’d like to ask you to step away from the judgment. The judgment clouds objectivity, and in doing so, it hinders movement and change. Once the judgment is laid out, there is no room to focus on change. We’re so focused on the terrible or great person we think we are, and cease to see what really is. Or we associate being _____ with being bad, and we don’t want to be bad, so we tell ourselves that we’re not really _____. So let’s set the judgment aside and focus on where you are.

“Today, I am _____.” Great. Now you know where you are. And now you get to make a decision: Stay _____, or move on? Yes, there’s the obvious answer, “Move on!” If you find yourself stuck, saying, “Oh, it’s so easy to say that, but I can’t just stop being _____!” Why not?

How is being _____ serving you today? And let’s not assume that it’s not serving you. Sometimes being in a difficult place is serving you, by taking you out of reality, keeping you focused on things outside yourself, or diverting the pain or fear or whatever it is that’s really going on. It’s important not to sidestep this, and really dig in. Just because something is serving you, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. And if it’s not serving you, then your decision is a little easier.

Now you’re ready to “move on”. Great. Where are you moving to? This is an important step, because you get to make the decision. I have a coaching friend who says, “What you nourish grows — choose wisely.” What you nourish is not for anyone but you to decide, and what you decide is what moves you forward.

If you are aware of who you are and who you’re being, you make it easier to change that person. A hurdle jumper has to first recognize the hurdle before he can jump over it. And then he has to recognize that the hurdle is 50m out, so he has to run to get there. Let’s say that the first step from being crabby to being happy is getting up out of your chair and stretching. If you don’t acknowledge that you’re crabby, you have no idea that you need to get up and stretch. And if you tell yourself that you’re not crabby when you are, you miss the valuable first step necessary in moving from being crabby to being happy. It’s your choice.

Some say that the hardest part in this process is the awareness, but I say, there’s not a hard part. There’s just the discipline of  adjusting. The action you take in actually changing who you’re being is like learning to ride a bike; the more you practice, the better you’ll get. And just like learning to ride a bike, once you get the hang of it, you never really forget how to do it. Just keep practicing…just keep choosing to practice.

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